After 30 years of running her own coffee shop, pulling espresso, making beverages, and managing staff, my mother is one of the most experienced business owners. Like any other food and beverage industry, running a coffee business is not a piece of cake. You can make a perfect latte or roast a perfect batch of beans, but it doesn’t guarantee a profitable and successful business if you don’t know how to do it right.
There were days when I saw my mom sitting quietly at one of the tables after all guests had left, jotting down what was left in her inventory. There were days when she kept throwing mugs after mugs of a new drink away because the recipes and ratios didn’t work out.
I guarantee you: those days will happen to you. But there will be many other days that will keep you at sixes and sevens if you don’t know how to learn about the coffee business on the right track.
Is Coffee A Good Business To Get Into?
Evaluate the situation as honestly as possible before taking the first dip, especially if you decide to partner with someone else. Choose your co-founders wisely because they can be a leverage tool or a pain in the neck keeping you awake at night.
Map out a list of what teams you need to support your business. HR or marketing? Finance?
Start with the most important thing: coffee. How to pull a perfect espresso shot from Guatemala? As long as you master your coffee skills first, everything else can come later.
Coffee is an excellent business to get into if you have the right location. You want to open a store where people can see you. At least that’s the first thing to beckon their attention unless you sell coffee online.
Then, give your shop a “theme.” Get an expert or architect to help you. It can be a huge sum of money at first but is worth it in the long term.
What Skills Do You Need To Own A Coffee Shop?
I’m not just talking about coffee-making skills. There is a lot more to put on your plate. You need to start with basic barista skills.
If you have worked as a barista for years, that’s the perfect way to continue your education and learn how to start a coffee business with management skills. It’s not just about managing your team or finance. To learn about the coffee business, you need to master your scheduling, menu building, and risk management skills to ensure the company runs smoothly.
Other than that, you need to learn about cupping. Cupping in the coffee business means developing the coffee’s palette. You need to tackle the coffee flavor wheel, processing, and conducting cupping.
Last but not least, how will you deal with the buying process? What kind of importer do you want in your team? Or would you rather source it from a farm for the best input cost? You might also find our guide on how to start a coffee business with no money helpful.
Map out a list of your best resources at your current job (if you’re currently working in a café). Is there any manager, café owner, coworkers, or even vendors you can talk to?
Even better, appreciate the time you’re spending at your workplace and dedicate yourself to delivering the best performance. During this time, you will gain a deeper insight into what works and what doesn’t so you can prevent it from happening to your future business.
Take a look at supply cost and how to keep track of inventory. What kinds of products do you need to stock before running your coffee business, and in what quantity? What is the turn-over rate, and how does it affect your profit?
You will be your own boss one day, so why not take this chance to learn from your current boss? Open up and be transparent about your plan to get the best advice.
Pay attention to your co-workers. You will have a team dedicating their time and knowledge to building your brand. Grab a coffee talk with your colleagues; they can advise you on what to improve to develop a positive workplace.
You might find our explainer on what to wear when working at a coffee shop helpful.
Sign Up For The Best Coffee Management Courses
If there’s a school or coffee training center in your local area with a good reputation, sign up for one of their courses. It’s not just about acquiring a certificate. It’s about paying for professional knowledge that no one ever tells you.
These courses will cover different curriculums for baristas, managers, and coffee shop owners. As an owner, you need to cover everything, from the day-to-day barista tasks to the café manager duties.
Our guide on the best digital marketing strategies for a coffee shop might be useful.
Udemy Masterclass: Start Your Coffee Shop Business
Udemy’s coffee business masterclass is one of the most talked-about courses teaching real-world business knowledge for beginners. Learn at your own pace and discover the inside-out of the back-end business strategies, market research, competitor analysis, and pricing strategy so you can walk into the coffee business with confidence.
Coffee Business School Of The Cascades
This is another well-reviewed course spanning over four days.
Day one focuses on planning and creating a business which mainly covers securing necessary financing, choosing the right location, selecting equipment, and designing your menu. Day two will teach you what to expect when you start your business, while the last two days will walk you through deeper insight into making coffee and beverages.
Bellissimo’s Coffee Business Startup Course
With Bellissimo’s Coffee Business Startup Course, you will learn about the initial concept of a coffee business, how to choose the right product that profits your business, branding, selecting the right location, settling budgets, taxes, and staff management.